We first wrote about U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s Big Idea for GMO labeling back in February. The idea is this: Allow companies, voluntarily, to use QR barcodes to tell consumers if their products contain GMOs. The scheme would require you to scan the product, then be directed to the company’s website where you’d have to wade through the advertising and search the fine print.
Of course, you’d have to have a smart phone. And plenty of time on your hands.
We didn’t like the plan then. We don’t like it now. And we’re not keen that Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, may step up to co-sponsor a bill in Congress that would substitute a voluntary QR code scheme for a mandatory GMO labeling law.
It could happen. And it may even have support from so-called public interest groups, like JustLabelIt and the Center for Science in the Public Interest—groups that many consumers still believe are on our side.
And please, even if you’ve already called your Senators, please call them again. Tell them you want them to support mandatory labeling of GMOs, not voluntary labels. And tell them that QR codes are no substitute for labels!